“Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants”( Matthew 13:7)
“The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful.”(Matthew 13:22)
You are driving out of state. You are sure you know the right route ; you don’t really even need the GPS. However, after a while: You have now reached a dead end in the middle of nowhere! And you have a grim realization : Now the clouds are so thick and the valley you are lost in is so steep that that you can’t even get a GPS signal. Now what ?
Today’s verses in the Parable of the Sower show how we can gradually wander off course in our Christian lives even when we think that everything is going OK . First, the worries of life can sneak in: Will we be able to buy the things we need? Will I lose my job? What if I get sick ? Will we lose our house? Legitimate stewardship of our health and work can gradually morph into becoming a worrisome preoccupation or obsession.
Second, the deceitfulness of wealth can slink in too. Take Bob, who was earning well, providing and caring for his family and doing good ministry. But as he receives some very lucrative promotions, his job gobbles up increasing amounts of his family time and leaves almost no time for Jesus and ministry.
Overcome by worry, seduced by wealth. What do these have in common? Both of them block the guidance from the Holy Spirit just as the GPS signal was blocked.
Let’s hear what Paul says :
“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” (Philippians 4:12)
As the thorns in life grow, they start to choke our godly contentment. We might think that we can use our own power to hack away at the thorns until they are all cut down. But that’s about as effective as depending on a GPS that does not get a signal. Here’s what we need to depend on :
“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13)
Our Lord gives us directions for a thorn-removing course correction. I need one. Do you?